FILE THOSE RULE 222 AFFADAVITS!!!
The Fourth District Appellate Court of Illinois[Champaign County] recently came down with an opinon that will make Illinois personal injury attorneys check their complaints a little more closer. In Grady v. Machini[opinion filed on July 31, 2007] the plaintiff filed a complaint to recover damages for injuries she suffered in an auto accident. The complaint did not have an affadavit, as required by Supreme Court Rule 222, stating whether the damages sought did, or did not exceed $50,000. The case went to trial and the jury awarded $97,700. The defendant brought a post-trial motion to reduce the damages to $50,000. The trial court did so and the plaintiff appealed. The Appellate Court felt that Rule 222 was very clear – in effect, it requires that a party to attach an affadavit stating whether the damages sought did or did not exceed $50,000. The rule goes on to say any judgment that exceeds $50,000 shall be reduced to $50,000 if the damages sought do not exceed the $50,000 mark. The court ruled that as plaintiff did not file an affadavit asying she was seeking more than $50,000 she could not recover more than that amount. Ouch.